Monday, October 19, 2009

Things I wish I could find in Melbourne.

Hooray for Asian Grocers.

I started writing this post just before the weekend when I was lamenting the fact that whilst Melbourne is voted as Veg friendly, I couldn't find lots of items I have been after. I don't even have particular recipe plans, I just wanted them, just in case!

And then I went to the Asian Grocer on Brunswick St in Fitzroy, and after wondering up and down in awe for about 30 mins I found a few bits and pieces off my list, woohoo! And then some additional weird bits and bobs just to top it off.

My Where-oh-where-do-I-find-you? list:

Black Rice (found it)
Fermented Tofu
Nut Cheese
Cactus or Prickly Pear or Nopales
Coconut Milk Icecream
Fresh Edamame
Hemp Milk
Pearl Couscous
Sticky/Sweet/Glutinous Rice (found it)
Red Rice (found it)
Dutch processed cocoa
Black Sesame seeds (found it)

And I also managed to pick up some sesame rice paper which is like your normal rice paper for making fresh spring rolls, only filled with sesame seeds and you can get it in black or white sesame. How exciting!

I picked up a bunch of fresh asian mushrooms (oyster, shiitake, shimeji) at exactly half the price of those at Woolworths.

Plus a few different brands of silken tofu (I usually only find the firm or GM stuff at Woolworths) and fried tofu puffs. And some dried tofu which was in a bag and is dark orangey brown and kinda looks a little like beef jerky. Sadly, it wasn't really my thing to snack on, but I'm guessing maybe I am meant to use it in cooking?? I might add it to a stiryfry tonight. Has anyone else had that before? All the dried tofu I have looked up on the net still has the appearance of normal tofu.

And they had heaps of frozen vegan dumplings, yum!

And I grabbed up some of that vegetarian Mock Duck in a can... I'm a bit scared...!

Things I didn't get but were tempted by:

Heaps of different dried seaweeds
Coconut Jelly (in the freezer)
Ginger tea that looked like marmalade (plus other fruity kinda flavours)
Frozen Red Bean buns

So overall it was a great success and I can't believe how long it took to get my arse down there!


  1. Is the dried tofu actually tofu skin? You can see it in my most recent post (scroll to the wonton noodle soup). You can use it for all sorts of stuff! I've had it as part of a dish (like in the soup), or I've had it wrapped around a popstick and deep fried (so it was a chicken drumstick).

    I bought frozen red bean buns from a Chinese grocer in Box Hill, two doors down from the vegie bakery.

  2. No, I don't think it's tofu skin - that's the stuff you get in your sushi or inari right? And you can buy a bag of it and they look like little pouches?

    But it does look similar although it's tougher, maybe it's dried tofu skin?

  3. hi niki have you been to the asian grocer at vic markets.. that place is freakin HUGE!!!! you should be able to find pearl couscous on Sydney road

    i've got some great recipies for nut cheese... if yo uwant them... otherwise tart n round make their own vegan cheese that made out of cashews (I think) I know what its like with the grocery items!!

    also there is vincents vegetarian supermarket in footscray if you ever feel like going on a mission.. I havent been there yet but they own 'enlightened cuisine' and this is their supermarket.. you can buy all kinds of wacked out fake meat there as well as grocery items xo

  4. Hey thanks Carla! No, I haven't been to either of those. Getting to Vic markets would be quite a walk from mine, Footscray even more! I struggle a bit going grocery shopping far from home as I don't have a car. Will have to check it out sometime though, it sounds exciting!

    I have made nut cheese (sauce) but I always hear about great fake cheeses in the US and get very jealous as I don't really care much for our options here.